It should go without saying that tipping a yacht crew at the end of a stunning holiday away is essential. It is this crew that gave you valuable tips when you needed them most, provided unmatched service, and got you to where you needed to go with a minimum of fuss. The question many end up asking themselves is: how much exactly should I tip? Even if they have an inkling as to what the answer may be, actually knowing how to tip the crew is another story altogether, particularly if you’re fresh to chartering. Well, worry no more – we cover the basics related to yacht tipping in this blog, so you can tip with confidence after your next seabound adventure.
Perhaps you’ve just had an amazing charter experience – whether from a digital charter platform Ahoy Club or a private company – and are wanting to reward the ever-helpful crew for their service. Yet, everyone you ask about tipping provides different sums – where do you go from here? Regardless of whether you’re on a yacht or superyacht, it is generally advised that guests tip between 5 and 20 percent of the base charter fee. Deciding how to determine this number is usually up to the location and the yacht itself – it is often the case that charters around the United States and the Caribbean attract higher rates. This appproximate rate was decided on after heavy tippers set a precedent during the early 2000s, causing a shift in tipping expectations for charter crews (and leaving some crews irate with lesser amounts). To introduce guidelines to prevent problem-gratuity situations in the future, the Mediterranean Yacht Brokers Association (MYBA) introduced a tipping policy guideline that stipulated 5-15 per cent gratuity sum, which has since become the accepted tipping range.
How exactly should you tip?
After you’ve decided on a figure, you’ll then have to work out how you’ll actually give this amount to the crew. Although you may be tempted to hand tips directly to people who have made your charter a lovely experience, this is in fact quite bad tipping etiquette. After all, it doesn’t take into account all of the crew behind the scenes who still worked hard to ensure you had the best trip possible. With this in mind, tips should be given to the captain for them to distribute evenly among the crew. You may pay in cash directly to the captain if you wish, but there’s also the option of using the remainder of your advanced provisioning allowance (APA) to cover your intended tip. This is also a convenient option for many because the captain will already be managing the APA, so there’s a lot less mucking around that needs to go on. If cash or the APA don’t suit, it’s also common practice to have a broker wire gratuities – this way you won’t have to manage a large sum of cash for the duration of your charter
Recognise good help when you see it
With superyacht crews working up to 16 hours a day to ensure you have a pleasant charter, there’s no doubt that they should receive some reward for their hard work and dedication. Knowing how much to tip them can be a confusing experience, but keeping in mind both the type of charter you’ve had and were in the world it occurred should give you a rough notion. Plus, don’t forget to give the gratuity straight to the captain – otherwise some crew members are bound to be left out!